Bad Education (2020, dir. Cory Finlay)

A school superintendent and their deputy are revealed, in part by a student investigation, to be embezzling from the school system. Smart black comedy-drama, based on a true story. Underplayed throughout, with fine performances from seasoned hands, and a sense that maybe the right lessons are still to be learned by some.

Lazy Susan (2020, dir. Nick Peet)

An idle woman struggles with life, family and relationships. A star vehicle and passion project for star/co-writer Sean Hayes, this blue-collar black comedy tries too hard to capture the quirky appeal of films like Juno and Little Miss Sunshine. Some moments work, but overall, the film doesn’t.

Ma (2019, dir. Tate Taylor)

A middle-aged woman seeks revenge on those who tormented her as a teen by targeting their now-teenage children. Interesting slow-burn take on the psycho-thriller, with a decent sense of ordinariness to it and some clever casting and playing throughout. Perhaps doesn’t push its core idea to the limit, but well-executed nevertheless.

The Way, Way Back (2013, dir. Nat Faxon & Jim Rash)

A gawky 14-year-old gets a summer job at a water park to escape his dysfunctional family. A charming offbeat comedy-drama very much of two parts: a crumbling new family unit, and the escapism of the park. Highly recommended.